Cuomo staffers' work on his book wasn't voluntary, as required by law, some claim: reporte

As is permissible and consistent with ethical requirements, people who volunteered on this project did so on their own time,” Richard Azzopardi, a Cuomo senior advisor, said last week, according to the Times Union of Albany, the capital city of New York.

Azzopardi claimed the governor’s use of his staff was on their own time, legal and not a misuse of taxpayer money, according to the newspaper.

Under New York law, Cuomo and other state employees are prohibited from using government resources for personal gain.

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The staffers (or people speaking on behalf of them in some cases) reportedly told the newspaper that the work on Cuomo’s bookAmerican Crisiswas expected as part of their jobs: A “clear expectation that we would do political work to help with his campaign and run the governor’s personal errands in the Executive Chamber.

It was not optional,” a former staffer who asked to remain anonymous reportedly told the Times Union. “It was considered a part of your job. Everyone knew that you did what was asked of you and opting out was never really an option.

Opting out was never really an option.

— Former Cuomo staffer

It’s known that two of the governor’s top advisers worked on the book, but along with Melissa DeRosa and Stephanie Benton, several junior staffers also reportedly helped the fast turnaround of the bestseller that Cuomo published in October after starting it last summer.

Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa is joined by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as she speaks to reporters during a news conference, in New York City, Sept. 14, 2018. (Associated Press)

Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa is joined by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as she speaks to reporters during a news conference, in New York City, Sept. 14, 2018. (Associated Press)

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